Strongsync - New Sync/Search Engine for Big Sur

Apparently Strongsync was just released by the developer of Expandrive

Is it as big a deal as they suggest?

Thoughts?

https://www.expandrive.com/strongsync/

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Set things up and can’t login through the app or the website. Hopefully just teething issues. I like that I can leverage cloud storage as an “extension” of my device rather than just a could copy. Should be great for people that want stick with smaller SSD in devices but access lots of cloud storage.

Looks nice and seems functional so far. I’m not a heavy enough user of any of those sync services to be a customer, which is not a knock on them at all.

Pricing is interesting. $50 for the license, and then you choose either to be billed $25/year after the first year for updates (checkout total: $50), or $99 for lifetime updates (checkout total: $50+$99 for $149.) Four years to recuperate is a relatively generous annual fee, or a burdensome one-time cost, depending on your view of the software’s value.

Where did it get stuck exactly? (I write the app)

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Any idea whether this is diferent/better than Smart Sync with Dropbox Smart Sync lets you work without limits ? Is this a simliar competitor or an advance beyond it?

It’s very similar to Smartsync, and their Smartsync will use this File Provider technology before too long. As 3rd party kernel extensions are on their way out.

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At login …I’ve tried to reset my password and have no received the link. I’ll reboot and see if I’ve got better luck.

What’s the security and encryption story?

Everything over HTTPS, no intermediate servers, all auth done via ouath and API tokens stored in keychain.

Here’s some prior discussion including ExpanDrive.

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@hemancuso what’s the ETA¹ on Dropbox support? I was surprised to see that it launched without supporting what I assume is the biggest sync service out there, certainly top two.

¹ I realize you probably can’t give an exact timeline, and everything is subject to change, but do you think it will be days? weeks? months? “sometime in 2021” ;-?

Also - welcome to the forums! Always glad to see developers engaging with the community.

Maybe Dropbox is giving them pushback because this competes too strongly with Dropbox’s own product?

I have purchased ExpanDrive years ago, and I have a lifetime license. Every time I decide to use it for something that is critical for me, it fails big time. Support was never helpful, they respond, but they never fixed my sync issues.
I will be really reluctant before purchasing another software from ExpanDrive.

Sorry @hemancuso, all respect you personally, those were my concerns about the company.

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I share those concerns. Most recently was when I discovered that editing a .pages file on Dropbox didn’t work reliably. We exchanged a few emails but nothing happened.

I purchased a lifetime license back in 2014 and can’t remember a time that I ever used it and it worked reliably.

Maybe this new file provider API from Apple will work better (although my experience with iCloud Drive doesn’t fill me with confidence) but this new app really feels like a new version of ExpanDrive.

If it works I’ll be glad to pay for it. But I’m definitely at a “wait and see” point.

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Thanks for sharing, at least I know I am not alone.
I will gladly pay for a Family license with lifetime if it works well.

Apparently now Strongsync supports Dropbox as well

The big question to me is - is there a meaningful benefit of Strongsync over Expandrive?

Is this basically an upgrade of Expandrive using a new software framework Apple now supports, or is it truly a different and much improved application?

See https://manage.kmail-lists.com/subscriptions/web-view?a=8xAa69&c=N3iVxy&k=4880065f90ed779bbb9beb2863fe876b&g=JyaW38&m=YjDj5f&r=xxqPi3Y

I started using this last night, so it isn’t a full review, just an initial impression.

Dropbox support in Strongsync seems to work every bit as well and as fast as Dropbox natively if you use “Smart Sync” and don’t have everything sync’d locally.

The main benefit here is that you don’t need to have the Dropbox app installed, it’s native on Apple Silicon, and it is using Apple’s recommended “File Provider” APIs (or something, the point is that they’re doing this the way Apple wants you to do this).

(Side note: The fact that Dropbox is still not native on Apple Silicon and that Dropbox, Inc. has been completely silent on this issue makes me think they realize it’s going to be awhile. The problem is that now it has been awhile, and they still have nothing to show for it, not even a beta. I’m sure they’ll get there eventually, but will it be a week? A month? 6 months? Then again, Google Drive doesn’t work at all on M1 Macs. At least Dropbox works in Rosetta.)

There are some rough spots. For example, moving a large folder from one folder to another gives you a ‘progress bar’ which basically tells you nothing other than ‘please wait’ with no clue how long it will take to finish.

The website and company is clearly set up to sell one product (ExpanDrive) and now they’ve added a second one, but you see ‘ExpanDrive’ in a lot of places where it should be ’Strongsync’ — including when you go to authorize it to Dropbox.

The whole website is a mess, actually. They have information about ExpanDrive and Strongsync intermixed, so it’s easy to be looking for Strongsync info and suddenly realize you are reading something about ExpanDrive instead.

Last night when I went to the website looking for information about the Dropbox integration, there was none. No blog post, nothing. Even the Strongsync webpage still listed Dropbox support as ‘coming soon’.

If I’m honest, Strongsync seems more like a new generation of ExpanDrive. I believe the app is completely new, or almost completely new, so I didn’t mind paying for a second app, assuming that the app succeeds and exists for as long as ExpanDrive does.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I would be willing to believe that Strongsync could eventually replace ExpanDrive. Once Strongsync supports all of the services that ExpanDrive supports, I don’t know why the developer would keep supporting both apps. I also think that Strongsync will work better than ExpanDrive, precisely because it is using Apple’s own technology rather than trying to “bolt on” this functionality.

Two key assumptions / requirements: Apple has to keep supporting and maintaining this, and Strongsync needs to keep up with whatever changes happen to the services and with Apple’s APIs. If that happens, this could be the best way to access cloud storage on the Mac… but at this point it’s very early, and definitely too early to tell.

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Thanks

I use a non-M1 Mac

My main reason to wonder about this is that my Dropbox has notably more than the max # of files Dropbox recomends (I think they say their max is a bout 500,000 and I have abouto 2 million files or so). Even with Selective Sync it can slow things down notably

ExpanDrive never did well with a large Dropbox account either.

Is there reason to believe Strongsync would be better in this situation?

I am not an expert here but from what I can tell, Strongsync seems to be fetching directories as needed. This is fast although a bit slower than normal at first. But it makes me think that it might only be biting off what it can chew. So as long as you don’t have a huge amount of files in one directory I think it should work better. But that’s mostly a guesstimate.

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It appears that Strongsync is basically providing “Optimize Mac Storage” functionality for multiple cloud storage systems (i.e download a file when needed, return it to the cloud when done, etc.). If so, this means any files not present on local storage cannot be backed up. Correct?

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